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Spatial and Angular Moment Analysis of Continuous and Discretized Transport Problems

Patrick S. Brantley, Edward W. Larsen

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 135 / Number 3 / July 2000 / Pages 199-226


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A new theoretical tool for analyzing continuous and discretized transport equations is presented. This technique is based on a spatial and angular moment analysis of the analytic transport equation, which yields exact expressions for the "center of mass" and "squared radius of gyration" of the particle distribution. Essentially the same moment analysis is applied to discretized particle transport problems to determine numerical expressions for the center of mass and squared radius of gyration. Because this technique makes no assumption about the optical thickness of the spatial cells or about the amount of absorption in the system, it is applicable to problems that cannot be analyzed by a truncation analysis or an asymptotic diffusion limit analysis. The spatial differencing schemes examined (weighted- diamond, lumped linear discontinuous, and multiple balance) yield a numerically consistent expression for computing the squared radius of gyration plus an error term that depends on the mesh spacing, quadrature constants, and material properties of the system. The numerical results presented suggest that the relative accuracy of spatial differencing schemes for different types of problems can be assessed by comparing the magnitudes of these error terms.

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